Sex, Drugs and Modern Art

“Everybody wants to get on the van Gogh boat.  There’s no trip so horrible that someone won’t take it.  The idea of the unrecognised genius slaving away in a garret is a deliciously foolish one.  We must credit the life of Vincent van Gogh for really sending this myth into orbit.  I mean how many pictures did he sell?  One?  He couldn’t give them away.  We are so ashamed of his life that the rest of art history will be retribution for van Gogh’s neglect.
In this town, one is at the mercy of the recognition factor.  One’s public appearance is absolute.   Part of the artist’s job is to get the work where I will see it.  I consider myself a metaphor of the public.  I am a public eye, a witness, a critic.  When you first see a new picture, you don’t want to miss the boat.  You have to be very careful because you may be staring at van Gogh’s ear.”
– art critic and poet, Rene Ricard, in Basquiat (1996)
  (written and directed by Julian Schnabel. 
  Based on a story by Lech J Majewski.)

6 thoughts on “Sex, Drugs and Modern Art

  1. Michelle Post author

    The music alone makes this film watching: The Pogues, Tom Waits, John Cale, Keith Richards, The Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop, Joy Division, David Bowie, Van Morrison, Brian Kelly, Tripping Daisy, The Psychedelic Furs, Nicholas Marion Taylor, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker …

  2. Annie

    thanks for the tip, I also like the look of Venus, I am going through a real film watching stage, and amazon has loads of films for cheap cheap cheap…

  3. Michelle Post author

    Annie, I’ve just bought five more, including Tom & Viv, Iris and Shadowlands (which I’ve seen, but ages ago). I’ll keep you posted.

  4. Michelle Post author

    Venus is worth watching. Like I mentioned to you, Peter O’Toole is magnificent …

  5. vanrijngo

    Yes,.. I very much did like this film, and it did perhaps make me want to go do my duty in my artist friend Mark Bangerter’s hallway. Yes,.. it is also true that artists in this world who are really good and are going to be recognized for their own genius and talents down the road are most times on their last leg or already gone.

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